Avenge ready to take on Lady Eli in Gamely

May 25, 2017 01:44pm
Avenge wins 2016 Rodeo Drive
Photo: Benoit Photo/Santa Anita

Avenge makes her first start in nearly seven months Saturday in the Grade I, $300,000 Gamely Stakes for fillies and mares, three and up, at 1 1/8 miles on turf.

The six-year-old War Front mare trained by Richard Mandella for owner Ramona Bass, LLC, last raced Nov. 5, 2016, finishing third by only a length after setting the pace in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anita. She has been firing bullets for her return.

“Avenge has been away for a while but she looks good and has been working great,” Mandella said. “It’s a tough race. She’s been off a long time and was turned out basically just for R&R, but she’s trained real well since coming back.”

Two of her last six published workouts have been the fastest of the day for the distance. Avenge has won six of 13 career starts, with earnings of $651,996.

The field for the Gamely, race five: Avenge, Flavien Prat, 5-2; September Stars, Gary Stevens, 12-1; Pretty Girl, Mike Smith, 12-1; Goodyearforroses, Corey Nakatani, 4-1; Mokat, Rafael Bejarano, 8-1; and Lady Eli, Irad Ortiz, Jr., 4-5.


Two-time champion Songbird will make her four-year-old debut in the Grade I, $750,000 Ogden Phipps Stakes at Belmont Park on June 10, in lieu of the Grade I, $400,000 Beholder Mile at Santa Anita June 3, Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said after the daughter of Medaglia d’Oro worked six furlongs in 1:13.80 at 6:30 a.m. Thursday under Mike Smith.

“It was a real good work,” Hollendorfer said of Songbird, whose only loss in 12 starts was by an excruciating nose to Beholder in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Santa Anita last Nov. 5.

“She surely will (go in the Phipps),” Hollendorfer said. “We think Stellar Wind and Vale Dori (both scheduled to run in the Beholder) are two of the best fillies in the country, and we think there are a lot of good fillies who are going to run in the Phipps, too, but the boss (owner Rick Porter, who races as Fox Hill Farms) wanted to run there.”

Songbird was given fractional times of 24, 48.20 and 1:01, with a seven furlong gallop out clocking of 1:27.

Added Smith, who has ridden Songbird in all 12 of her races: “She looks good, seems happy, and is hitting the ground good. Everything’s great. She’s fit, and she’s still got another work to go, so that’s even better.”

Also working Thursday was Kentucky Derby third-place finisher Battle of Midway, going five furlongs in 1:01.80. Hollendorfer noted if all goes well, Battle of Midway would run in “the Affirmed for sure,” and possibly the Grade I, $1 million Haskell Invitational at MonmouthPark after that. The Affirmed, named for the 1978 Triple Crown winner, is a Grade III race at Santa Anita on June 24. The Haskell will be run July 30.


Starting with the 2017 Winter Meet hat began last Dec. 26 and extending into the Spring portion currently underway, Santa Anita continues to offer the nation’s biggest Late Pick 4 and Pick 6 pools.

The average Late Pick 4 pool from Dec. 26 through May 21 was $699,347. The average weekend Late pick 4 pool during that span was $851,720.

The average Pick 6 pool from Dec. 26 through May 21 was $220,211; the average Pick 6 payout during that period was $64,246.

In addition, Santa Anita’s Single Ticket Pick 6 Jackpot has been hit 11 times from Dec. 26 through May 21, at an average payout of $289,063. The popular Jackpot made a player a millionaire on April 6, returning $1,199,286.40.

Source: Santa Anita Park


comments powered by Disqus

Related Pages

Top Stories